William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace opens with two interesting events – a phone call in the middle of the night, introducing the main characters of the novel, and a mysterious death. It is the beginning of a series of deaths plaguing this small, 1960’s Minnesota town.
Thirteen-year-old Frank and his younger brother Jake team up to investigate the mysterious happenings. Their exploits – defying adult instructions – uncover more than the boys have anticipated, and they are forced to consider tough issues.
Rich Orlow lends his voice to the audio version of Ordinary Grace. His interpretations of Frank’s attitude, Jake’s stutter, and the other characters are effective and bring the story to life.
Kent Krueger is a skilled writer, creating sympathetic characters and engaging the reader’s interest with twists and cliff hangers. Appropriate for a young adult audience, this novel is also appealing to adults. His depiction of early ’60’s North American life reminded me of my own childhood – and the issues society dealt with at the time.